Moving from Seattle to an island was a shock for a lot of reasons. One of the most interesting was learning to be more self-sufficient than we ever have.
Category Archive: Building Flattop
When the pandemic hit in 2020, we had to reevaluate two of the biggest projects of our lives. This is how it felt at the time.
A walk to our construction site ends in seeing orca whales in the water in front of the house.
The post below was sent as an issue of my newsletter, Ready for Rain. I had anticipated this moment for over a year. For the first time, I stepped foot onto the newly laid subfloor of our house. I realize this might not sound like a revelation and in reality, I had...
Ready for Rain at one year. A review of the events in 2019, as shared in the newsletter.
Home construction is a project that takes significant time and it’s not always clear why. It can be painful and frustrating, but it’s often necessary for quality. This is our experience.
The post below was sent as an issue of my newsletter, Ready for Rain. Early in the design process, John, our architect, said something that caught my attention. He said our design would require a lot of steel. Not knowing much about engineering a house, I took it as a...
A look at a home construction project on Orcas Island, WA as the framing is being built.
House plans are not written in stone. Achieving what you want requires constant edits and course corrections and it’s best to catch them in advance.
As the foundation was poured on the new house, I learned about concrete in construction and the history of lime production in the San Juan Islands.
The first big phase of the house building project was the foundation and starting then, the house took on a realistic form and shape.
A few notes on the house project and our plans, as is was coming together in 2019.
The post below was sent as an issue of my newsletter, Ready for Rain. I’ve planted trees like Japanese maples and fast-growing conifers at every house I’ve owned. I think of them as semi-permanent fixtures that slowly improve the property and provide shade, privacy,...
To make room for the new house, big trees had to be removed and I was sad to see them go but found ways to use them.
The demolition of the yurt-shaped house did not disappoint. Within days it was gone and the construction could begin.
To begin construction, we first had to demolish our yurt-shaped house on Orcas Island and that meant saying goodbye.
To afford the construction project, we had to think big in terms of changes and that meant considering what we could keep and what we could remove from the design.
When we saw the construction estimate, we knew we had to change course and small changes weren’t enough. This was the path we took.
After all our design work, this was the day where we saw the estimate for the house we wanted to build. It didn’t go well.
As soon as decided to build, we called John, an architect, to get his help. This is how the design phase started.